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U2's Bono talks about his Christian faith in interview with Focus on the Family

Published: Thursday, June 27 2013 11:30 a.m. MDT

Bono wears his trademark sunglasses, which he said were more protective than a fashion statement. Bono wears his trademark sunglasses, which he said were more protective than a fashion statement. "[I have] very sensitive eyes to light. If somebody takes my photograph, I will see the flash for the rest of the day," he said in an interview with Rolling Stone. (Photo courtesy of Patheos.com)

Bono, the lead singer of the rock band U2, talked openly about his faith in an interview with Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family.

“When people say [Jesus was a] ‘good teacher,’ ‘prophet,’ ‘really nice guy’ … this is not how Jesus thought of himself,” Bono said.

He continued with a polarized comment similar to what C.S. Lewis taught. “So you’re left with a challenge … which is either Jesus was who he said he was, or he was a complete and utter nut case. You have to make a choice on that.”

Bono continued by saying that Christians need to respect others, especially those who do not hold the same beliefs.

U2 lead singer Bono is interviewed by Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family. (Screenshot from Religion News.com) U2 lead singer Bono is interviewed by Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family. (Screenshot from Religion News.com)

“I believe that Jesus was, you know, the Son of God,” he said. “And I understand that … we need to be really, really respectful to people who find that ridiculous and people who find that preposterous.”

In the interview, Bono expressed his connection to the biblical David as well as the value of being honest with God.

“First of all, David’s a musician, so I’m gonna like him,” Bono said. “What’s so powerful about the Psalms are, as well as they’re being gospel and songs of praise, they are also the blues. It’s very important for Christians to be honest with God, which often, you know, God is much more interested in who you are than who you want to be.”

John Fuller, vice president of Focus on the Family's audio and new media division, appears with Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family. (Screenshot from Focus on the Family.com) John Fuller, vice president of Focus on the Family's audio and new media division, appears with Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family. (Screenshot from Focus on the Family.com)

Daly noted that Bono sometimes receives criticism from Christians who view him as “too edgy at times.”

“You’ve gotta be very careful that grace and politeness do not merge into a banality of behavior, where we’re just nice, sort of ‘death by cupcake,’ ” Bono responded. “Politeness is, you know, is a wonderful thing. Manners are in fact, really important thing. But remember, Jesus didn’t have many manners as we now know.”

Bono explained himself by saying that in the ninth chapter of the Gospel of Luke Jesus told a man to not wait and bury his father, but to immediately follow Jesus. Bono said, "We've gotta be a bit more cutting edge...[and] look to the actions."

In the 28-minute interview, Bono also discussed his music, family and his involvement in AIDS activism.

Bono, also known as Paul David Hewson, is shown during an interview in Los Angeles on May 26, 1981, when he was 21. (WALLY FONG, ASSOCIATED PRESS) Bono, also known as Paul David Hewson, is shown during an interview in Los Angeles on May 26, 1981, when he was 21. (WALLY FONG, ASSOCIATED PRESS)

According to Religious News Service, Daly expected backlash in his decision to interview Bono on Focus on the Family.

“Does he use a bad word here and there? Yeah, probably. Does he have a Guinness every now and then? Yeah, probably,” Daly said. “When you look at it before the throne of God, I think (God will) say, ‘You saved so many children.’”

Daly celebrated Bono's scriptural knowledge and commitment to his family.

“Bono clearly accepts Jesus as Lord. I wasn’t prepared for his quickness in inserting Scripture into the dialogue,” Daly said. “I celebrate with them that they have four children and have been married 30 years. Not everyone in the Christian community can say that.”

Abby Stevens is an intern for the DeseretNews.com Faith and Family sections. She is a recent graduate of Brigham Young University–Idaho. Contact Abby at astevens@deseretdigital.com.

Copyright 2015, Deseret News Publishing Company